Wednesday, September 01, 2004

How to save money on the backs of the poor

Rather than save government funds by limiting upper-class tax cuts, getting back overcharges from Halliburton or reining in bloated government Medicare giveaways and farm subsidies, the Bush Adminstration is trying to save a few bucks by cutting Section 8 housing vouchers.

Hey, let's starve some poor kids at school and kill Head Start while we're at it!!

Here's the deal. The government groups together cities and towns into districts to determine the average rent for the area. Then vouchers are issued to landlords who rent to low-income tennants, who pay 1/3 of their monthly income for rent. The voucher makes up the difference. Landlords like the program b/c of the guaranteed income. It also gets people out of public housing projects, which breed crime and poverty.

Up to now, Boston (the city in question in this article) has been grouped with cities like Cambridge and Newton. Which makes sense as they are directly abutting one another. But now they are going to group Boston with places like Quincy and Revere. Quincy does abut Boston to the south, but Revere doesn't! It's separated by Winthrop, Chelsea and Everett. So why the new grouping?

Because Cambridge and Newton are high-income/high-rent areas, while Quincy and Revere are low-income/low-rent areas. The result is a 15-30% drop in the voucher values in Boston, which share the rent levels of Cambridge and Newton! So now these landlords are going to drop out of the program b/c they'll take a loss on the rental income. And these Section 8 housing tenants will be forced to go back to low-income communities, which is what this program was supposed to prevent in the first place.

Wow. Great plan. Now we can take this money and what? More sugar subsidies? Shave another 1/4% off the capital gains tax? Maybe put it towards military equipment that we'll buy and then never send over to Iraq.

"Compassionate Conservative" my ass. What a crock.

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